CH3NUI-Health and Safety and Professional Skills

Module Provider: Chemistry
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites: Only available for students from NUIST on the BSc Applied Chemistry (3+1 route)
Co-requisites: CH3ENG English Language for Chemists
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2015/6

Module Convenor: Prof Elizabeth Page


Summary module description:
This module is specifically for Part 3 students studying on the BSc Applied Chemistry (3+1) programme. The module is designed to prepare and support such students for working in a UK chemical laboratory and for carrying out independent research in a practically based investigation in the Spring Term. The module uses a variety of different approaches to support students in the development of transferable skills. The module will be taken in parallel to a module in English language for chemists. In this module students will practice writing, speaking and listening in the English language.

• To help students develop the independent learning skills necessary for research;
• To familiarise students with UK health and safety practices, regulations for working in a chemical laboratory and to train students to write comprehensive COSHH and risk assessments;
• To help students develop excellent recording skills in the lab and to provide practice in writing structured lab reports;
• To help students develop self-study skills to enable them to research an unknown topic, and solve a problem based upon it;
• To introduce students to a range of programmes, packages and databases used routinely by chemists;
• To familiarise students with a range of resources for researching unknowns;
• To introduce students to effective team working, problem solving and to understand how successful teams operate;
• To help students develop effective time management, organisation and team working skills.
• To give students practice and support in written and oral communication, and to develop scientific writing skills in preparation for writing a literature review and project report.
• To support students in developing career plans and prepare applications for employment or future study.

Assessable learning outcomes:
It is expected that students will be able to:
• recognise the risks with different types of laboratory procedures and chemicals and to mitigate them;
• use a laboratory notebook to accompany practical work and understand good practice in keeping a lab notebook;
• understand how to structure and compile a practical report;
• tackle unseen problems and devise strategies for solving them;
• extract and manipulate numerical data;
• organise themselves and team members to communicate in appropriate ways or through appropriate media;
• access a variety of resources, including the chemical literature, to obtain data and summarise findings;
• understand what constitutes good academic practice and the importance of referencing and citations;
• construct a reasoned argument to arrive at a valid solution to a problem;
• write a report using suitable scientific language to justify the methods used to solve the problem and the results;
• present findings and results orally.

Additional outcomes:
It is hoped students will develop a thorough understanding and appreciation for good academic practice and team-work.

Outline content:
Autumn Term
Week 1: (F J Davis: 2 lectures and workshop)
Health and safety in the Chemical laboratory. Writing risk and COSHH assessments.
(LMH: 1 lecture )
Introduction to research in the Department of Chemistry. Briefing on research group meetings.

Week 2: (JEM/PBC/EMP/IST: 2 lectures and workshop)
Using a laboratory notebook. How to write up a practical report.

Week 3: (Library link/IST: 2 hours)
Effective use of library resources and online search facilities. Using chemical databases; searching using key words, recognising journals and selecting appropriate material.

Week 4: (EMP/IST: 2 hours and workshop).
Good academic practice. Appropriate use and style of referencing and citations. Avoiding plagiarism and collusion. Using Turnitin. How to summarise an article.

Week 5: (EMP/JME: 1 hour lecture plus group work)
Group working and problem solving. Introduction to the Titan Project – a problem based learning exercise.
1 hour test in PC room – writing a risk assessment and, health and safety test

Week 6: mid–term task. Group work, video and report production.

Week 7: (Michelle library/IST: 1 hour) – feedback and analysis of group working.
(JME/TL: 1 hour) recognising professional skills, developing a cv and application letter

Week 8: (EMP/AMC/IST: 1 hour plus time for supported individual preparation work) Introduction to project-work in the Department. Applying for a project.

Week 9: (EMP/IST/library staff: 1 hour) Writing a literature review. Project applications submitted.

Week 10: (EMP/IST: 1 hour) Project allocations, meeting your supervisor – individual meetings with staff.

Week 11: Work on literature reviews. Drop in sessions.

Spring Term
Week 1: (1 hour lecture) Introduction to project work.

Week 5 (1 hour lecture) Writing a project report.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The module is composed of a mixture of lectures, discussions, group work tasks and individual assignments.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 30 2
Guided independent study 68
Total hours by term 98.00 2.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Project output other than dissertation 40
Set exercise 35
Class test administered by School 25

Other information on summative assessment:
Test on health and safety and risk assessment: 25%
Summary of article: 25%
Group work activity and video production: 40%
Application letter: 10%
Assessment deadlines:
Week 5: Health and Safety exercise and risk assessment
Week 7: Group work
Week 9: Application letter
Week 11: Summary of article.

Formative assessment methods:
Feedback will be given on drafts of assignments.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:

    Requirements for a pass:
    An overall mark of 40%.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Reassessment will comprise of coursework carried out over the summer period in the event of a student failing their degree programme overall.

    Last updated: 28 October 2015

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